Kids ought to be looked out for, too, when discussing mental health.
Mental health comes up in a conversation, and everyone focuses on the adult(s); why is that?
I can’t help but notice how adults often overlook kids in most discussions, even those with everything to do with them.
It’s easier for adults to identify what may seem like a threat to their mental health and quickly find a solution.
What happens to the kids? Who helps them to identify things that are threats to their mental health?
‘Mental Health’ isn’t and shouldn’t be an “adult-only” conversation.
Kids see, hear, feel, and understand the things that happen around them. Mostly, the same things adults try so hard to hide from them. The difference between an adult and a kid is the reaction.
Gone are the days’ parents hid so much information from their kids with the excuse of trying to ‘protect’ them.
Kids or not, we can’t deny that we all get affected in times of crisis. Imagine a child getting distraught from just seeing someone he/she cares about crying or even showing any sign of sadness. Now, imagine how they feel amid a crisis. What goes on in their little head when they look at you and see the worries in your eyes.
Just as you are mentally unstable because of the things happening around you, a child feels the same way, if not worse.
How then can we carry the young ones around us in times of crisis? How can we also help them to nurture their mental health?
A child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as apparent as their physical needs. However, it is also as important as making sure that they eat healthily.
Good mental health will help a child to develop a healthy outlook on life. It will allow them to think clearly, stay focus and also develop socially.
Every child needs and deserves good mental health. You can help them to develop and nurture good mental health.
Here are a few steps to get you started in helping the kids around you.
5 Ways to Help Improve Kids Mental Health:
- Pay Attention: Paying attention to a child’s verbal and nonverbal expressions will help you identify when he or she needs your support.
- Create a Safe Atmosphere: Communication is the key to creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere for kids. Let them talk to you while you listen. Know when they just a hug and when they want to speak.
- Talk to Them: Yes, this is different from just letting them talk while you listen and contribute when necessary. This ‘talk’ is when you trust a kid enough to give them specific information. It lets them know that you trust them and that they can trust you with details about their lives.
- Show up: Kids want to know that you have their back. They want to know that they can always come to you, no matter what happens. Let them know this by telling and showing them.
- Treat a Kid as a Responsible Person: No, kids are not daft. They are human beings; treat them as one. Let them know when they make mistakes, correct them in love; they have feelings. Clap for them when they win. With kids, the minor things you do means the world to them.
Kids are watching you. They never forget. While they are still young, be mindful of the things you do to/for them. Anything you do to them now has a way of influencing their lives in the future; let it a good one.
Kid’s mental health matters.